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How to Buy a Gun Safe

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10 Steps for Finding the Right Gun Safe.

1. Key locks and digital keypads: Which is better?

Both have merit, but if you want the best of both worlds, go with a keyed lock with an electronic backup. These are great because they offer two different ways to open your safe without having to remember passwords or fumble around for keys.

2. Biometric scanners: How well do they work?

A biometric safe is a convenient way to keep your guns under lock and key if you live in a house with children, but it isn’t 100 percent effective, either. According to a recent article from Even though technology has come a long way, most experts agree that you shouldn’t rely on biometrics as your only means of firearm security.


3. Tapered or flush-mount: What do you need?

If you want to store your firearm in a standard drawer or safe, go with a flush-mount safe. If you’re looking for something that fits nicely behind the door of your nightstand, consider a tapered model. Just be sure to measure the space before you buy and read reviews from other customers to be sure the safe you’re viewing will fit your space and meet your storage needs.

4. Weight: How heavy is too heavy?

If someone breaks into your home and tries to steal your pistol, they’re probably going to need some help carrying it out. The last thing you want is for a thief to walk off with a heavy safe as well as your gun. Make sure your pistol safe is light enough to pick up and carry but sturdy enough that it won’t break apart when a thief tries to pry it open.

5. Ratings: Which ones are the best?

If you want absolute protection for your firearm, look for a steel body and solid locking mechanism, even if they come at an additional cost. For maximum security, you’ll need more than just a cheap plastic box or flimsy lock – high-quality safes have been looked at by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the most trusted third-party testing company in the world. UL sets to ensure that safes meet certain quality and durability standards.

6. Biases: What are yours?

Before you read any online reviews or testimonials, ask yourself what your own biases might be when buying a pistol safe. For example, if golf is your favorite sport, you might be inclined to believe a model with a sleek finish and upscale design instead of one covered in sports logos. Keep your personal preferences in mind – they could skew the results from online reviewers who have different tastes than you do.

7. Fingerprint scanners: how reliable are they?

Today’s fingerprint scanners can keep out kids and non-authorized users, but only if the batteries work properly. One way to avoid this problem is to go with a biometric safe that uses a backup key as an added security measure. Like any complicated piece of equipment, the more moving parts involved, the more significant potential problems.

8. Location: Where should you put your safe?

Besides placing it behind the door of your nightstand or desk, some people also hide their pistol safes in other out-of-the-way places like under piles of clothes and blankets in closets and guest rooms. The fewer spaces someone can access without your knowledge, the better – remember that if you’re getting dressed or doing laundry, you might need quick access to your gun, so don’t lock it away too far from where you sleep or dress.

9. Mounting: Which ones are the most secure?

For optimal security, make sure to attach your safe to a wall stud – not just a hollow door frame – and use longer screws with larger heads that won’t fit in the pre-drilled holes on some safes. If you can remove and reattach your pistol safe from its mounting bracket without tools, it’s not as secure as models that need a screwdriver or allen wrench.

10. Warranty: What kind of protection do you have?

The best warranties cover problems caused by defective parts and poor quality for the lifetime of your handgun safe, though there may be exceptions, so read the fine print before you buy. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of repairs, make sure your pistol safe has a solid warranty with customer service that’s easy to contact.

The best handgun safe offers protection against unauthorized access and fire damage – an essential feature if you live in an area where wildfires are common. Finally, consider how much space you need.

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